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Covered in Dust

Spot SOS doesn’t work?

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Saw this post on Facebook. Glad I carry a Delorme also.

SPOT LLC #spotsaveslives did NOT save my life. It in fact it failed me at the most critical moment. U.S. Navy did however come to the rescue. Here’s a little update to the story that KIRO 7 News ran on my Mt Baker rescue. I had just suffered a horrendous compound fracture of the lower leg way out in the Mt Baker Wilderness. In a location and terrain that necessitated a quick rescue to save my leg and my life. I hit the SOS button on my SPOT. To my horror the button did nothing after repeated attempts. Then even crazier my friends #spotgen3 wouldn’t activate the SOS either. Both units were blinking green, were blinking all the correct lights in the start up self test. I have been running SPOT devices in my #airplane and all my #backcountry#floatplane, and #snowmobile adventures for at least a decade. I have persuaded many friends to buy the device over the years. This however was the first time I needed it. Part of me is glad it happened. Because during all those preflight and pre-ride discussion where I’ve looked people straight in the eye and said this is your best way to rescue. I’m out of the hospital and well enough now to call SPOT and get their take on it. Tech support had me go through various tests. Then had me test the “help/sos” functions. NOPE. Still doesn’t work. Nothing lights up. Just the blinking green light at the power icon. So they have me try the “ok” button. Yep. Still works normally. Now here’s my biggest concern. How many units are like mine and my friend’s @krispelan ? How many still work in track and ok lulling you into a false sense that the unit will work when you need the SOS or HELP function? Scary to say the least. So if you have one of these devices I suggest you call SPOT LLC and have them test your unit. I requested a credit towards #spotx in lieu of a new #spotgen3 replacement they offered because I don’t trust the hardware. He told me to sell it on ebay🤷‍♂️🤦‍♂️. Ok right... I’ve given you my trust and money all these years and I finally need your services. The least you could do is upgrade credit me to a two way comm unit so that I know it’s working. At least I’m told my GEOS rescue insurance should still apply. What would you do?

#KIRO7Seattle story

https://www.kiro7.com/…/nas-whidbey-helicopter-cr…/923142305

Update: Thank you so much for sharing this story. I hope it saves someone’s life. I just received a call from a high manager at SPOT after this went viral. Sad that it took that for someone in the company to think this was serious. We’ll see what they do to make it right and assure us that their products are reliable. I’ll keep you posted 🙏

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I was carrying mine (Spot X) in my tank bag in South Dakota, somehow it juggled around and activated the SOS.  They messaged me on the unit and called my phone to verify within five minutes.  I have no idea how it activated, needs a button pushed and then another one to verify but it was good to know it works.

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7 minutes ago, tntmo said:

I was carrying mine (Spot X) in my tank bag in South Dakota, somehow it juggled around and activated the SOS.  They messaged me on the unit and called my phone to verify within five minutes.  I have no idea how it activated, needs a button pushed and then another one to verify but it was good to know it works.

I had the same thing happen with my Delorme. I think they are saying that some Spot devices may have an issue. With no way of knowing if your SOS button will work when every thing else works on the device.

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1 hour ago, Covered in Dust said:

He told me to sell it on ebay🤷‍♂️🤦‍♂️🙏

Sell an item that is (potentially) critical to someones safety or life that is known to be "defective"; very poor suggestion from the manufacturer and irresponsible! 

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4 minutes ago, simicrintz said:

Sell an item that is (potentially) critical to someones safety or life that is known to be "defective"; very poor suggestion from the manufacturer and irresponsible! 

That was my thought as well. 

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1 hour ago, Covered in Dust said:

I had the same thing happen with my Delorme. I think they are saying that some Spot devices may have an issue. With no way of knowing if your SOS button will work when every thing else works on the device.

Yeah, I get that.  We all have to just sort of convince ourselves that our safety equipment works.  The airbags in our cars, sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, motorcycle helmets, etc.  Occasionally these things fail.  I don’t believe that Spot has widespread failure but it can happen.  If people believe Delorme is free of failure, guess they are easily convinced.

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Here's the latest. Looks like he finally got their attention:

Update #2: SPOT management just called me again(the morning after this went viral) They are very apologetic and sound very sincere in there concern about what happened to us. I think it’s sincere but also a bit of damage control. They tell me that this is a “one off” that this unit worked(or rather didn’t work) in the manor described. They are taking both of our Gen3 SPOT devices to see what happened. In addition they are sending me the new SPOTX that offers texting so that I can verify that it’s indeed working. In addition they are giving me a free one year extension on my plan. They say it’s the least they can do. So for now I will accept the SPOTX and subscription and try it out for the next 17 months. I will however be supplementing it with another device and an Eprib. So long story short I think I got a bad manager the first time I called. He didn’t seem to care about the gravity of the situation. Didn’t even ask for the defective unit to test it. And of course even worse telling me to sell replacement SPOT product on Ebay to buy another SPOT product. He really acted like a blocking agent rather than a problem solver. However now the upper management is trying to make it right and show us how serious they consider these devices to be to us. They tell me they are going to use this as a training tool for their employees. I’m still apprehensive to trusting a gen3 after what happened. If you have one in my opinion I’d get it checked even if it’s still working in the “OK” function it may not be working in the SOS function as mine did. I thought it only fair that SPOT had a voice in this too that’s why I’m giving these updates. They tell me they have over 6000 rescues. My goal is to inform others because of the life saving nature of the device.

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It’s good that Spot is stepping up. To bad it took bad publicity to make it happen. I still like my Spot for tracking but rely more on the Delorme for SOS just because I know I can reach someone by text. Maybe I’ll carry a PLB in the future also.

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I've had my first generation Spot 1, with tracking account, for 10 years.........just called to see if they'd give me a break on a SpotX........nope.......

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1 hour ago, Crawdaddy said:

I've had my first generation Spot 1, with tracking account, for 10 years.........just called to see if they'd give me a break on a SpotX........nope.......

Get the Inreach. I've had an Inreach for 4 -5 years and it's never skipped a beat texting or receiving texts. In fairness I have not thankfully had to press the SOS button.  Inreach is on the Iridium satellite network which from what I've read is supposed to have better coverage than the Globalstar network Spot uses.  Also with Inreach you have the ability to change plans or suspend service month to month if you want. 

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3 hours ago, Crawdaddy said:

I've had my first generation Spot 1, with tracking account, for 10 years.........just called to see if they'd give me a break on a SpotX........nope.......

Did they raise your rate this year?  My account is due in a couple weeks and they recently sent me an email saying its going up $25 a year.

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14 hours ago, Cosmo said:

Did they raise your rate this year?  My account is due in a couple weeks and they recently sent me an email saying its going up $25 a year.

Yep, by the time I noticed the auto pay had already gone through......

Does the Inreach provide easy tracking for friends/family like the spot?.......I guess I've always stayed with the Spot because it was directly linked to the "WhereAmIRiding" website for easy tracking by friend's/family

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14 minutes ago, Crawdaddy said:

Yep, by the time I noticed the auto pay had already gone through......

Does the Inreach provide easy tracking for friends/family like the spot?.......I guess I've always stayed with the Spot because it was directly linked to the "WhereAmIRiding" website for easy tracking by friend's/family

Yes they have a web page (inreach.garmin.com) set  up where friends\family can not only see your track but can also ping your current location (assuming you have it turned on) and send text messages. To get tracking you have to have the "Recreation Plan" for $34.95\mo or better. I generally keep my account on the "Safety" plan at $14.95\mo and then change it to the Recreation plan when I'm on a remote trip. Like I mentioned you can do this on a monthly basis. You can even suspend service for a month or longer if you're not going to be using it. I have the SE+ model and I have a powered cradle (https://www.gpscity.com/garmin-inreach-powered-mount). It accepts a RAM ball. I have a fixed mount in my SXS and a suction cup mount I use in the motorhome and my 4WD. I recently had my SXS die on me 20 miles out. Fortunately I had a buddy to tow me out but if I had been solo the Inreach would be mighty handy. I got mine at Costco.com on sale for $229 but currently they are $289 which is still a very good deal. Keep an eye out as they go on sale at Costco from time to time. You can also get the Inreach Mini but I don't think there's a powered mount for that model. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, PbdBlue said:

Yes they have a webpage ( http:\\inreach.garmin.com ) set  up where friends\family can not only see your track but can also ping your current location (assuming you have it turned on) and send text messages. To get tracking you have to have the "Recreation Plan" for $34.95\mo or better. I generally keep my account on the "Safety" plan at $14.95\mo and then change it to the Recreation plan when I'm on a remote trip. Like I mentioned you can do this on a monthly basis. You can even suspend service for a month or longer if you're not going to be using it. 

 

 

Thanks for the info/recommended approach!

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10 minutes ago, PbdBlue said:

Yes they have a webpage (inreach.garmin.com) set  up where friends\family can not only see your track but can also ping your current location (assuming you have it turned on) and send text messages. To get tracking you have to have the "Recreation Plan" for $34.95\mo or better. I generally keep my account on the "Safety" plan at $14.95\mo and then change it to the Recreation plan when I'm on a remote trip. Like I mentioned you can do this on a monthly basis. You can even suspend service for a month or longer if you're not going to be using it. 

 

 

+1 from my seat. My wife finds the web site easy enough with a little practice. The texting provides a great piece of mind; the messaging software is pretty easy to use. Consensus is that the tracks are good for a second back-up, but the screen is too small for primary use.  Turn it off when it gets hot.

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2 minutes ago, Bagstr said:

+1 from my seat. My wife finds the web site easy enough with a little practice. The texting provides a great piece of mind; the messaging software is pretty easy to use. Consensus is that the tracks are good for a second back-up, but the screen is too small for primary use.  Turn it off when it gets hot.

Also you can text Inreach to Inreach. Bagstr and I tried it out when we were over in Utah at the 3 Step. Pretty slick.

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38 minutes ago, PbdBlue said:

Also you can text Inreach to Inreach. Bagstr and I tried it out when we were over in Utah at the 3 Step. Pretty slick.

Well, being that you two are my riding partners, that's added incentive to look into Inreach.......should be an easy expense to slip past Lisa........"Honey, it's all about safety!" ;):coolio:

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7 minutes ago, Crawdaddy said:

Well, being that you two are my riding partners, that's added incentive to look into Inreach.......should be an easy expense to slip past Lisa........"Honey, it's all about safety!" ;):coolio:

Yeah. The incident with the RZR last week really opened my eyes to the real possibility of dealing with being stranded way the hell out there. We could have walked out but it would have been a very long walk:)

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31 minutes ago, PbdBlue said:

Yeah. The incident with the RZR last week really opened my eyes to the real possibility of dealing with being stranded way the hell out there. We could have walked out but it would have been a very long walk:)

Costco looks like the ticket based on the pricing I see elsewhere.....do you mount it on your bars?    Figured I'd blow off the powered cradle and just carry it in a pocket like the Spot since I'm not using it to navigate.......less clutter on the bars......

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47 minutes ago, Crawdaddy said:

Costco looks like the ticket based on the pricing I see elsewhere.....do you mount it on your bars?    Figured I'd blow off the powered cradle and just carry it in a pocket like the Spot since I'm not using it to navigate.......less clutter on the bars......

I carry it in my backpack on the bike. I carry an Iphone in a pouch on my chest protector and it's tethered via bluetooth to the Inreach. Inreach has an app caled Earthmate that's pretty good. It has mapping as well as messaging features plus pretty much full control of the Inreach. Also use the Iphone for pics, etc.

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1 hour ago, PbdBlue said:

I carry it in my backpack on the bike. I carry an Iphone in a pouch on my chest protector and it's tethered via bluetooth to the Inreach. Inreach has an app caled Earthmate that's pretty good. It has mapping as well as messaging features plus pretty much full control of the Inreach. Also use the Iphone for pics, etc.

Sweet...

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Does in reach offer insurance?  I believe my spot account, the way I have it set up covers the first 50k if I have to take a ride in a copter

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3 minutes ago, Cosmo said:

Does in reach offer insurance?  I believe my spot account, the way I have it set up covers the first 50k if I have to take a ride in a copter

Yes, similar to (as I read it) the same coverage as GEOS from SPOT. SameSame. 

 

But! 

 

It’s my understanding that insurance only only covers when the SPOT is used for the emergency call. 

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